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Over 1,100 Nigerian Civilians, 79 Soldiers, Security Agents Killed, 658 Abducted In Q1 2023 –Report

May 7, 2023

It also said over 658 abductions were recorded across the country within the period under review.

A security report done by Nigeria Mourn, a violent incident tracking organisation in Nigeria, has revealed that no fewer than 1,151 civilians and 79 security operatives were killed in the first quarter (Q1) of 2023.

It also said over 658 abductions were recorded across the country within the period under review.

The report stated that attacks and activities of Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) constituted 22.11% which amounted to at least 272 deaths while political-related killings, mostly due to the recent 2023 general elections, claimed at least 7.72% which stood at no fewer than 95 deaths. 


According to the report, “In what has been an unfortunate trend in our data collated in the first quarter of 2023, banditry remains the largest cause of violent deaths across the country with 29.27% (360 deaths) while an existing threat is the rise in extra-judicial killings and herdsmen related killings which constitute about 10.08% and 13.65% respectively with (at least 124 and 168 deaths each).


“Secessionists’ violent campaign mostly in the Southeast part of the country contributed 6.75% representing (at least 83 deaths) while cult clashes took 4.96% (at least 61 deaths).


“Isolated attacks, mob attacks, armed robbery and communal clashes took the remaining 5.45% combined (at least 67 deaths).”


President Muhammadu Buhari-led Nigerian government has repeatedly claimed to have not only reduced the activities of Boko Haram insurgents but have defeated the terrorists. However, the report indicated that there has been an alarming increase in the activities of Boko-Haram/ISWAP in recent times, while extra-judicial killings were mostly perpetrated by security personnel and Fulani herdsmen.


It further stated that within the period under review, 6.42% of all lives lost to violent killings were security personnel numbering at least 79 security operatives killed across Nigeria while the remaining 93.58% of lives lost violently are those of civilians numbering at least 1151 deaths.


“Data on the brazen killings of security operatives is further divided into para-military: Police (at least 54 deaths) constituting 68.35%, NSCDC (at least 10 deaths) representing 12.66% and Military (at least 15 deaths) accounting for 18.99%. With at least 54 lives lost, Police lives lost in the first quarter of 2023 constituted the highest losses among security operatives.


“Overall, more violent incidents were recorded in the Northern part of the country than the South – of the at least 1230 deaths recorded, there were at least 932 violent killings in the North representing 75.77% of the total killed, in contrast to the South where at least 298 were killed representing 24.23% of the recorded figure.”


The report further revealed that bandits and Boko Haram/ISWAP operating mostly in the Northern region of Nigeria contributed to the largest number of victims with the North-Central suffering the heaviest number of casualties with at least 331 killed recorded in the region due to mostly herdsmen activities in Benue, Plateau and Nasarawa States, while the Northeast had at least 312 casualties, followed by the Northwest which had at least 289 casualties.


In the South, a combined 140 deaths in the Southeast were attributed mostly to the activities of a violent secessionist group. While at least 88 were killed in the South-South, at least 70 people were recorded killed in the Southwest.


“A notable observation from data collated for the reporting period is that all reported civilian deaths were due to violent killings in the North-Central part of the country as a result of Herders’ violent activities.


“Inversely, deaths due to secessionist activities were an exclusive feature of the South, particularly the Southeast where more than 90% of reported deaths were due to these nefarious activities. In a similar fashion, more lives were lost to Extra-Judicial killings by security personnel in both the South and the North.”


“Of the at least 124 deaths due to extra-Judicial killings, at least 56 were in Doma, Nasarawa State, with another 30 in Kutunku village, Wushishi LG, Niger State in the North-Central part of the country as a result of Nigerian Airforce shelling of suspected bandits’ location,” the report added.